WHAT ARE YOUR RIGHTS and DUTIES as the OPERATOR of a BICYCLE?
A person operating a bicycle on a highway has the same rights and duties as a driver of a vehicle.
Section 183 of the Motor Vehicle Act imposes further rights and duties. Some of these provisions stipulate that a cyclist:
- must not ride on a sidewalk, unless authorized by a by-law, or permitted by a sign
- must not ride on a crosswalk, unless authorized by a by-law, or permitted by a sign
- must ride as near as practicable to the right side of the highway
- must not ride abreast of another person operating a bicycle
- must, when cycling between 1/2 hour after sunset and 1/2 hour before sunrise, have proper reflectors, and properly mounted lighted lamps
- must not operate a bicycle on a highway without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the highway
- must not operate a bicycle on a sidewalk without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the sidewalk.
Just because a cyclist contravenes any provision of Section 183 of the Motor Vehicle Act does not necessarily mean that the cyclist will be to blame for the accident. Liability will also largely depend on whether or not the driver of the vehicle exercised all reasonable care, given the circumstances of the particular case. The standard of care of a driver is not one of perfection, but rather whether the driver acted in a manner in which an ordinarily prudent person would act.
There may be allegations of contributory negligence against you. For example, if you do not have properly mounted lighted lamps, or proper reflectors, at certain times of the day. The condition of your bike will also be thoroughly examined by ICBC for any signs of defect, such as with tire pressure and breaks application.
If you are forced to take evasive action because of how another vehicle is being operated, and you are injured as a result, you may still have a claim for compensation, despite there being no actual contact between you and the motor vehicle in question.
There may be some situations where, if you are a struck as a cyclist in the United States, you are not entitled to make a claim for accident benefits and/or personal injury damages. It is best to contact Veale Law for a free consultation under such circumstances, to know what your legal rights are.
You may also have a claim if you are a driver or passenger injured in an accident caused by a cyclist.